BALTIMORE – As part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) ongoing commitment to prioritizing the removal of criminal aliens and egregious immigration law violators, officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE's) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Baltimore Fugitive Operations teams arrested 17 public safety threats in Prince George's County, Md., and surrounding areas as part of a three-day "Cross Check" enforcement operation targeting at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives.
"The results of this targeted enforcement operation underscore ICE's ongoing commitment to strengthening and protecting public safety with a focus on the arrest and removal of convicted criminal aliens and those that game our nation's immigration system," said Calvin McCormick, field office director for ERO Baltimore. "ERO officers will continue to work tirelessly in protecting the public safety of Maryland communities by locating, apprehending and removing these at-large criminal aliens and repeat immigration violators that have blatantly disregarded the law. Maryland is safer today because there are 17 fewer criminal aliens in our neighborhoods."
This three-day operation, which commenced Aug. 28 and ended Aug. 30, resulted in the arrest of 17 males, all with prior criminal convictions including six with assault convictions (including assault on a police officer), three with drug distribution convictions, two with weapons convictions, three with larceny convictions, one with an arson conviction, and one has multiple DUI convictions. They are from countries spanning the globe including the Bahamas, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua and Sierra Leone. The 17 were residing in the following Maryland communities: Bowie, Brentwood, Glenn Dale, Hyattsville, Lanham, Oxon Hill, Seat Pleasant, Riverdale, Silver Spring and Upper Marlboro.
In addition to being convicted criminals, two of those arrested were also immigration fugitives who had previously been ordered to leave the country but failed to depart. Additionally, two were illegal re-entrants who had been previously removed from the country, a federal felony offense.
The arrestees include:
- A 22-year-old citizen and national of Mexico, who was residing in Lanham, Md., convicted in December 2011 in Prince Georges County of second degree assault. He is currently in ERO custody pending immigration removal proceedings.
- A 44-year-old citizen and national of El Salvador, who was residing in Lanham, Md., convicted in January 1995 in Prince George's County of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and in October 1994 in Montgomery County of theft. Additionally, he was deported to El Salvador in September 1998 and illegally re-entered the U.S. on an unknown date at an unknown place. He is currently in ERO custody pending his removal to El Salvador.
These arrests were coordinated with ICE's National Fugitive Operations Program, which is responsible for investigating, locating, arresting and removing at-large criminal aliens and immigration fugitives – aliens who have ignored final orders of deportation handed down by federal immigration courts. ICE's Fugitive Operations teams give top priority to cases involving aliens who pose a threat to national security and public safety, including members of transnational street gangs and child sex offenders.